The Protestants held that there were two authorities that didn’t have authority from God: the Roman Papacy and the King.
The Protestant reformers believed that the Antichrist was a system of the Papacy, of Rome, or Vatican, and their leader the Pope. This changed when the Reformers had an attack against them by Vatican’s own army known as the Jesuits.
The Jesuits ran a campaign against the Protestants on behalf of Papacy, known as the Counter-Reformation. They loathed Protestants and had an oath to kill Protestantism AND Protestants by sacrificing the blood of a Protestant heretic.
Since they could not simply eradicate true Christianity, they cloaked as a Protestant and subdued it from inside. They influenced doctrine that would take the eyes off Papacy as an enemy and would revise teachings within Christendom to bring a different approach. The result was a futurism Dispensational view of a Pretribulation Rapture and coming Antichrist separate from Papacy.
This theory, as well a a designated age called a Millennium, was developed by two Jesuits, Francisco Ribera and Cardinal Robert Bellarmine of Rome who published his “Polemic Lectures Concerning the Disputed Points of the Christian Belief Against the Heretics of This Time. This doctrine was adopted by Edward Irving for the Christian Church, as well as promoted and developed by Darby and Scofield under the spell of Jesuits.
The Jesuits were continued under the cloak of Adam Weishaupt founder of the Bavarian Illuminati, and re-emerged in 1814 under Pope Pius with a clean reputation. They managed to further indoctrinate Christian clergy with tolerance, watered-down gospel, charismatic manifestations, and contemplative prayer. Now the result is a modern Counter-Reformation and securing of ecumenical Protestantism that embraces the Papacy. While getting the focus off Vatican as Antichrist and squashing any threat of Christians having to face Antichrist by an indoctrination of Pretribulation Rapture that tells a 7 year period of Tribulation is YET to come AFTER the church is gone.